The Cleveland Indians did what they had to do in Minnesota. Win the series. A series loss could have been trouble for the Tribe’s playoff hopes.
Indians got off to a strong start in a very crucial stretch. That being said their work is not done. Taking two out of three against the Twins is great but there is still a long road back.
Starting Monday Cleveland will face the angels for three games. In their previous matchup the Indians have won all three games. The three game sweep came at an opportune time for the Tribe as they closed the gap on the Twins. Perhaps this series could provide a similar result.
Obviously the two names that the Cleveland pitching staff need to reduce the impact of are Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani. That is easier said than done. Trout and Ohtani are both excellent hitters capable of taking even the best pitchers deep.
Cleveland will have Shane Bieber, Zach Plesac and Adam Plutko pitch this series. All three can limit the Angels offense, they just have to do it. The Indians will need to do their part and score runs early and often in order to come away victorious.
A very important aspect of the series will be who will play third base. Mike Freeman and Yu Chang have been sharing duties although Freeman has been significantly more productive at the plate. It may be wise to give Freeman more time at third at this point in time considering that the Indians are still fighting their way back into the playoff discussion.
Winning this series has to be the absolute minimum goal for the Tribe. A sweep would be great. A series loss simply cannot happen. Cleveland needs to get it together now and work on fighting their way back into the playoff discussion.